Beef Stew is one of my family's favorite winter meals. Our family tradition is to eat gluten-free Beef Stew before we go Trick or Treating on Halloween, when we call it "Strength Enhancing Beef Stew." A nice healthy meal before going outhelps you have all the energy you need to make it through our traditional route.
This version is my favorite and is based on the one in my trusty basic, "The Fanny Farmer Cookbook." I have adapted the Fanny Farmer recipe so that it suits my family's taste in a stew recipe and is gluten free. This is what I did:
1 pound beef stew meat
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 Tb coconut oil
1 1/2 Tb Worcestershire Sauce
1 large onion, sliced
4 bay leaves
1/2 tsp allspice
1 to 1/2 lbs baby carrots
8 -10 small new potatoes or fingerlings, quartered
6 cups hot water
Cut the stew meat into 1 inch cubes and remove the excess fat. Add it to a mixing bowl that contains the brown rice flour, salt and pepper. Stir and make sure that all the meat is covered by the flour mixture. Put the coconut oil in a Dutch oven or other stew pot and melt. Once the oil is melted and hot, add the meat to the pan and brown on all sides. Remove and drain on a paper towel covered plate. Add the 6 cups of hot water to the Dutch oven (step back as you do this as the water will splatter). Stir the water and browned flour mixture. The flour mixture will have stuck to the bottom of the pan, but after about 10 minutes all of it will have come lose and will blend with the water. Add the Worestershire sauce, bay leaves and allspice. Then add the beef and vegetables. Cook for 30 minutes. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the vegetables are tender. This will serve 6 people and makes a dense stew that has more vegetables than gravy.
The last time I made this stew it wasn't gluten free. So, I was particularly pleased with how it turned out using rice flour. How did it taste? Divine. We all agreed, none of us could taste the difference. It tasted the same as the gluten version. What did my taste testing judges think? Wow! Do it again! Let's make it like this all the time!
My pot of stew only lasted 2 days, because my daughter wanted to eat stew for breakfast, lunch and dinner.